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1 Introduction: Where We Are and Where We Can Be
Pages 9-14

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From page 9...
... Particle physicists seek simplicity at the microscopic level, looking for mathematically elegant and precise rules that govern the fundamental particles. Astronomers seek to understand the great diversity of macroscopic objects present in the universe from individual stars and black holes to the great walls of galaxies.
From page 10...
... Ordinary matter would get the final word, as its atomic interactions would eventually allow it to sink deeper and form objects made primarily of atoms stars and planets leaving dark matter to dominate the scene in galaxies and larger objects. This gulf of time between the decoupling of matter and radiation and the formation of the first stars is aptly referred to as the "dark ages." Mountain-top observatories on Earth and the Hubble Space Telescope reveal evidence of the model confirms that the universe began from a soup of elementary particles.
From page 11...
... Optical astronomy has witnessed a millionfold gain in sensitivity since 1900, and a hundredfold gain since 1970. Gains in the ability to view the subatomic world of elementary particles through new accelerators and detectors have been similarly impressive.
From page 12...
... For example, in 1998 physicists working with astronomers and using telescopes announced evidence that the expansion of the universe is speeding up, not slowing down, as had been expected. If the expansion is indeed accelerating, it must be because of dark energy, a mysterious form of energy heretofore unknown.
From page 13...
... But there have been missed opportunities. While many of the pioneering ideas and experiments at the interface of physics and astronomy originated in the United States, many of the most important discoveries occurred elsewhere.
From page 14...
... Chapter ~ deals with the earliest beginnings of the universe. Scientists are poised not only to extend current understanding of the universe back to a time when even the largest structures in the universe were subatomic quantum fluctuations, but also to make profound advances in how matter, space, and time are viewed.

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